If you missed me — and a whole lot of other people you’ve likely read about here, including economist Victor Matheson and former Anaheim mayor Tom Tait — breaking down the Los Angeles Angels stadium deal in an enormous Zoom panel last night, you can still check it out on the Voice of OC’s Facebook page. I didn’t bother to carefully curate the books on the shelves behind me, as one does, so have fun checking out which novels I read 20 years ago!
And on to the news, which remains unrelentingly newsy:
- The Arizona Coyotes are late on their rent payments to the city of Glendale, or maybe not late according to their lease which gives them until the end of October, but still later than usual. The rent payment is $500,000; the Arizona Republic notes that the city is currently spending $13 million a year paying down arena debt plus $6.1 million a year in arena management fees and maintenance costs. Man, this whole thing was a bad idea.
- Former Winnipeg mayor and current Winnipeg Goldeyes owner Sam Katz has signed a ten-year lease on Ottawa’s minor-league baseball stadium, and swears this is totally unrelated to his displeasure with his successors in Winnipeg city government trying to renew his stadium lease there to raise his rent from $1 a year and eliminate $700,000 a year in tax breaks and parking subsidies. “I don’t threaten, never threaten,” said Katz. “What I am saying to you is we have a lease for a ballpark in Ottawa.” That is surely not a thing that anyone would ever say as a threat!
- The great Alissa Walker of Curbed weighed in on former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s proposal to build a gondola to take people to and from Dodger Stadium, and reached three important conclusions: “A stadium built at the height of car culture on a mountaintop with 16,000 parking spaces is working exactly as designed”; there’s no way you’re going to fit 12,000 fans onto a means of transport that even if packed to the gills would require people to start loading on two hours before game time and then continue doing so in even numbers until the first pitch; and there’s already a fast, efficient public transit technology to get people to Dodger games that doesn’t require massive spending on infrastructure, and it’s called shuttle buses. (Walker also calls gondolas “a kind of combination transit-slash-sightseeing ride,” which is both pretty damning and entirely accurate.) Add in that Los Angeles, unlike Oakland, already has plenty of existing bus routes leading to the stadium, and it’s really a no-brainer, unless you’re a rich dude looking to get city approval for a private gondola concession, in which case gondolas are the future, man, get with it already.
- There’s a petition afoot in St. Louis to oppose the city’s plan to tear down a block of vacant buildings to make way for parking lots for St. Louis City S.C.‘s new stadium, presumably on the grounds that St. Louis already has too many vacant lots. A City S.C. spokesperson says the team is “exploring the opportunity” for a parking garage with stores on the first floor; hands up if you think it’s likely that they’re actually going to build this on their own dime.
- The owners of the Tennessee Titans have come out against building a major league baseball stadium next door, which would seem to put a fork in the plan, even more than that the entire idea of an MLB team in Nashville is kind of dumb. So let’s take one last (?) opportunity to enjoy one of the more bonkers stadium renderings of our time.
- If I had had to put my money on the next sports franchise to be displaced by the effects of climate change, I wouldn’t have wagered on a <strike>minor-league</strike> junior hockey team in Iowa having to shut down for a season because their arena was damaged by a derecho, but here we are.
- The Super Bowl may or may not have live fans in attendance and, uh, yeah, that’s really the whole story.
- This story has nothing to do with stadium shakedowns, except that it ends with the line “If it’s too expensive for the literal state of Florida to make some improperly obtained evidence go away, the defendant in the case will foot the bill himself,” so yeah, it really kinda does.